Aaron's powers were finally explained on the fall finale of "Revolution." When he died, he was rebooted by the very nanites that are keeping the power off. Apparently, when Aaron brought the power back on during the Season 1 finale by shutting down the nanites, he also woke them up. The collective machines gained a sort of sentience.
They presented to Aaron in the form of a childhood friend, explaining that he was able to burn people alive because, "You say kill in your head, so we kill." But then, Aaron rejected the nanites, which seems to have hurt their feelings. They see him like a father, and perhaps choosing a child was representative of the emotional maturity of the machines. After all, they did let his girlfriend die a second time. Granted, Aaron was rude to dismiss them, and then turn around and demand that they help him.
“Here's where 'The Terminator' meets 'The Matrix' and things get a little nuts," wrote Buddy TV's Bill King. "As it was explained in 'The Matrix,' even a computer program with artificial intelligence exhibits signs of self-preservation. So I'm assuming that when he shut them off, they became self-aware and turned back on to save their existence, and true AI was born.”
co-showrunner Rockne S. O'Bannon told TV Line that Aaron and the nanobots will be a big part of the second half of this season. "The nano is one of the most exotic ideas about this world," he said. "[Aaron is] the perfect front man to lead us into that world. Where the nano takes him upcoming is fascinating and extremely emotional. We’re really going to be putting Aaron through the ringer in that regard.”
"Revolution" returns in 2014 to wrap up its second season on NBC.
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